Monday: A brisk start as I need to be on the road for 7.00am. I relocate to Bristol soon but until then I travel to Bristol on Monday mornings and back to Cheshire on Friday afternoons. While this is not particularly productive time, it allows me time to think of the week's activities. I like to set objectives and this is a good time to ask myself what I would like to achieve. By setting small objectives, I can tackle big projects one step at a time and ensure I am making progress. The day starts by going through the week's objectives with my assistant; then it's into the first meeting for a review of our intermediary strategy. I grab a sandwich and latté for lunch before catching up on how processing and servicing is coping with increased volumes of business. The news is good, service standards are high and there is no backlog in inputting cases.
Tuesday: Another round of meetings starts with jumbo loans that exceed £1m. Although not yet common, these are occurring more and more. We need a policy on these loans and propose a number of ways forward. In the evenings, I often try to get out of the hotel and wander down to the town so I can get some sort of exercise, find out a bit about Bristol and try a variety of places to eat, and tonight is no exception.
Wednesday: I take a call from an Australian who has developed a range of calculators and tools that are used on financial websites promoting mortgages. We talk for a while but it's clear I need to spend some time looking at these before deciding whether I would want them incorporated into the Bristol & West Mortgages website. In the evening I travel to Weybridge as tomorrow I spend a day in the field.
Thursday: An interesting day with Scott Mackenzie, one of our top mortgage development managers. We visit a variety of brokers including Dot Financial and Rebecca Jones from Music Media. I learned a lot about how Bristol & West Mortgages is perceived by intermediaries and what we can do to improve. It's a positive day with promises of increased support and ideas on how to make dealing with us more attractive. In the evening I meet Deirdre McManus, the regional manager covering our central region, for an update.
Friday: Meet our MD Stewart Wright for a visit to an important packager called Atom in Horsham. Another productive meeting with clear views on what we do well and how we can improve. The meeting finishes at close to 3pm, but by the time I drop the MD off at his car, I meet all the traffic heading north so don't arrive home until just before 10pm. But I still feel ready for the weekend's challenge of walking down the Pennine Way around Kinder Scout.
Did I achieve all my objectives for this week? No, I never do! But I was close enough to feel satisfied that Bristol & West Mortgages and I are on course to achieve the ambitious goals we have set ourselves.
Brian Everett is head of sales at Bristol & West. His diary runs from January 6-10.